Building 4 Star 60 Day 48: Stabilising Wires Installed

Stabilizing Wires Installed

Though my plane according to the plans was complete, Monday I truly completed my aircraft!

Outside of the plans, based on club members experience, I added support wires to the tail.  You can see them installed in the featured image above.  The reason for this addition is that a known flaw in the design of the aircraft is the weakness of the fin.  If you were just flying in circles and figure eights you would be just fine but as soon as you started performing loops and rolls you would have a problem.

That problem is that the forces applied to the fin during these maneuvers would cause the tail to twist making the aircraft unstable in the air.  This instability, and perhaps damage, leads to a lack of control and I believe even the potential for the fin to break.

The wires were created by John based on the ones installed on his 4 Star 60.  He sautered the ends to bolt to the surfaces onto the wire.  The are adjustable for length as you want to make sure they are at about the middle of the top of the fin as well as the middle of the outer edge of the stabiliser into solid wood, but not to close to the edge to ensure a firm hold.

Doing one at a time you line it up and mark where the holes need to go into the stab and the fin.  Adjustments needed to be made on the ends to ensure they sit flush with the surface of the aircraft.  You then drill out the holes, ensuring you go through in a straight line as you don’t want to be at an angle.  Next you put the screws through (screw it in once required) and then put a locking nut on the screw through the stab.  Can leave the one through the fin for now.

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Building 4 Star 60 Day 47: Balancing & Weight

Finished Plane Front View

Tuesday was the day everything came together and I my aircraft was fully assembled.  Previously in the week Peter & John balanced my plane to determine how much weight was required.  The aircraft was quite tail heavy.  Need to remember that as you move away from the center of gravity (CG) the effect of 1lb of weight is compounded.  This means that even though the engine, wing, battery, etc. is all up at the front of the plane the tail still wanted to ‘sink’.

In order to counteract this John & Peter determined how much weight was required to place up in the nose so that the aircraft is actually a little nose heavy.  They determined the weight required and already had the one side of the piece of metal sanded and a piece cut out for the drain hose from the engine to go through allowing the fuel to exit instead of pooling on the bottom.  I then drilled two holes into the piece of metal.

Checking Balance With Weight Installed
Checking Balance With Weight Installed

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Building 4 Star 60 Day 46: Throttle control adjustments

Tuesday was a productive session though it appears not much was done as it was about getting the throttle working properly (with the transmitter) through a lot of adjusting and installing the extension for adjusting one of the speed settings, see below:

Speed Adjustment Extension Installed
Speed Adjustment Extension Installed

In order to accomplish these two tasks a bigger hole had to be drilled for the speed adjustment extension as things didn’t quite line up properly (that is in order to give room for vibrations).  Some other touch ups will now be required of the covering.

For getting the throttle set properly, which means that at the one end of the throw you are wide open and at the other end you are at idle so that if you hit the kill switch it closes off the throttle shutting off the engine.  This involved a lot of tweaking on both the mechanical and end point adjustments (on the transmitter) sides of things.

We had to remove the engine to adjust the throttle “lever” by taking it off and putting it back on in a new position as it is geared.

Peter also had the tail wheel installed for me already, see below, and on Thursday him and John did the balancing of the aircraft outside since it was a nice day and due to circumstances we couldn’t connect up so I could be there too.  My task next time will be to install the weights they determined are required.

Tail wheel installed
Tail wheel installed

Building 4 Star 60 Day 45: Canopy Installed, Servo Test & Landing Gear

Canopy Installed

After yesterdays session you can really get a sense of what my aircraft will look like (without the wing anyways).  I started my day with covering the hatch cover.  I wanted to break up all the white on the fuselage and since Peter and I had the same idea for what color should be used I went with green.  Before covering I had to make sure that there was clearing for  the throttle linkage which involved sanding down the one side.  Once that was done I covered the surface and folded over the edges like I have done previously.  This also means that for the front it involved doing a bunch of small cuts to get the covering folded over the curved edge decently.

John came over to check things out and while he was there we bound my transmitter to the receiver.  I haven’t installed that yet as John’s going to bring over some velcro for that task; however I know where it is going to go and already hot glued some tubing to the side of the fuselage to run the longer wire at a 90 degree angle to the other for reception.   I set up a new model in my transmitter (named it 4Star60) and the various leads were hooked into the correct places on the receiver.  We were not able to get the desired effect for the throttle after doing endpoint adjustments on the throttle control arm and in the transmitter itself so will have to look at that again.  We were able to adjust the servos (mechanical adjustments) and the linkage near the control horn to get us satisfied with the movement of the rudder and elevator for this first crack at it.  John had to go and then Peter and I hooked up the wing to test the ailerons.  I had to reverse RAL so that when pushing the joystick left the plane would bank left (as was reversed originally).

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